focus tracking

Jos Poortvliet jospoortvliet at
Tue Jul 13 19:37:11 BST 2010

On Monday 05 July 2010 10:02:03 PiƱeiro wrote:
> From: Jos Poortvliet <jospoortvliet at>
> >> > Ok, thanks all for the responses. A couple of questions if you don't mind, to check I understand this properly:
> >> > - AT-SPI does not have a way of tracking focus for magnification purposes?
> >> 
> >> AT-SPI provides a way of tracking focus in general. Not just for
> >> magnification purposes.
> >> 
> >> > - So Gnome-Mag has developed an API for this, but it's currently CORBA based and thus needs changing
> >> 
> >> gnome-mag has developed an API so other apps can use it. Yes, the
> >> current one is CORBA based, work in progress to migrate to DBUS. [1]
> > 
> > So 'other apps', does that mean Orca and other screenreaders, or does that mean EVERY application needs to support it for the magnification to be able to follow focus?!?
> API defined by gnome-mag (and in the future the same in gs-mag) is
> just the API to control it. ie [1]:
>   * start the magnification
>   * set the zoom level
>   * full screen/just a region
>   * set cross wire
>   * etc
> As you see this is really magnification-specific things. But ...
> > Or can any magnification tool follow focus in any app which supports AT-SPI properly? Sorry, I don't really know how all this is chained together....
> ... focus tracking (as far as I understand this feature) is a basic
> feature and provided by AT-SPI years ago. Some examples:
>   * On at-spi2-core/idl/event.idl you have the Focus event definition
>   * pyatspi2/pyatspi/ manages some focus related things
> And apps were using this focus tracking for years. Examples:
>   * orca/src/orca/
> So, the API defined on the magnification tools are used to manage them
> properly. As in gnome the idea is use Orca to use them, we try to
> define the same equal in the current two magnifiers. If you want to
> control the magnifier you need to use it.
> Focus tracking (get the active app, get the object with the keyboard
> focus, get notification about any change in the object with the focus,
> ...) is an AT-SPI task, implemented for years. So you don't need to be
> a magnifier app to keep track of the focus. Ie: accerciser, the a11y
> debug tool on gnome does something similar, and it is not a
> magnification tool at all.
> >> I don't understand this paragraph sorry. What it is required to be
> >> implemented by eg OO.o? What feature are you missing?
> > 
> > I think I'm misunderstanding something here...
> > 
> > I'm mostly concerned with getting the magnification (either in Compiz, KWin, Gnome-magnifier or KMag) to follow focus - so does that need changes in applications or not? Is AT-SPI support enough?
> First question: you don't need changes on the applications being
> "obverved" (ie. gedit). You'll need changes on the AT apps, the ones
> that wants to follow the focus.
> Second question:  Yes, AFAIK.

Thanks for the info (sorry for the late reply, I had this Akademy thing interupting life).
> BR
> [1]
> ===
> API (apinheiro at

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